Finally, Sammy earns respect with T20 win
Azhar puts Auckland into main draw
Villa returns for World Cup qualifiers
Vijender to move to 81kg category
Injuries force out Vignesh, Ranjeet
Mumbai, October 10
Footage screened on the Hindi-language India TV on Monday showed what the news channel said was officials from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka negotiating deals with under-cover reporters to affect the outcome of matches. Pakistan’s Nadeem Ghauri and Anees Siddiqui, Nadir Shah of Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka’s Gamini Dissanayake, Maurice Winston and Sagara Gallage were all seen agreeing to give favourable decisions in exchange for umpiring contracts and money.
The global governing body said in a statement on Wednesday that investigations would be conducted by the respective boards of each country while the umpires remained barred from officiating in any matches.
“The ICC and its relevant full member boards have agreed not to appoint any of the umpires named in a sting operation recently conducted by India TV to any domestic or international cricket matches pending the outcome of the ongoing investigations into the allegations made,” the ICC said.
“The officials named are not contracted by the ICC and those boards who employ and nominate the umpires directly will conduct the investigations as a matter of urgency.” In the sting operation, conducted in July and August, the reporters said they belonged to a sports management company and promised the umpires assignments in different events around the world, largely domestic Twenty20 leagues.
In May, the same television channel’s sting operation prompted the Indian cricket board (BCCI) to ban one uncapped cricketer for life and hand out lesser punishments to four others for involvement in corruption in domestic cricket.
Last year, Pakistan players Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were jailed in Britain following a sting operation for their role in a spot-fixing scandal relating to a test match against England at Lord’s in Aug. 2010. — Reuters
Finally, Sammy earns respect with T20 win
A team which includes blasters like Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels, Darren Bravo, Kieron Pollard will naturally grabs the attention of the rivals. And if the captain of these men is Darren Sammy, it may seem a bit odd. Sammy is not your typical savior-captain in the mould of Steve Waugh or Imran Khan.
In fact, “Underrated” has almost become Sammy’s middle name. The captain is not the most sought-after player of the team for interviews. Maybe journalists too are guilty of underrating this affable, humble captain.
This writer did catch him for interviews before and after the final of the Twenty20 World Cup.
Sammy came across as someone, in the words of Kipling, whom “neither foes nor loving friends can hurt”. Sammy sounded very confident ahead of the final and was calm and cool after justifying his words with deeds.
“Ohh maan, how can I express myself and this feeling of holding the World Cup trophy! This is just an amazing feeling,” Sammy said. “I think this has been good for me. I think we never saw ourselves as favourites. We had that belief that we could go all the way. We saw that as a golden opportunity to make people smile back home.”
For a cricketer who has often been dubbed by cynics as a “can’t bowl, can’t bat” kind of player, his role in the final was incredible. Perhaps the sense of timing wasn’t lost on the St.Lucian. He scored a quick-fire 26 at the end of the Caribbean innings after a mesmerising onslaught by Samuels.
He performed while bowling too, taking two for 10. This could have been good enough to earn him the Man of the Match award on any other day. But on Sunday, obviously, Sammy had been put into the shade by the blinder Samuels played.
But, it hardly matters to the man who has slowly and steadily tried to put the disunited, underperforming West Indians on track in the last couple of years since he took over the captaincy from Chris Gayle.
“It means a lot to us as a team, and to the Caribbean people. It’s a massive,” Sammy said. “I was part of that team in 2004-05 when Brian Lara was the captain and West Indies won an ICC trophy (Champions Trophy). I was the youngest member of the side and the one who got the trophy in hands when we landed in Barbados. It’s been way better than that. I just thank the Almighty for that.”
When told that his team is very popular in India and was massively supported by Indians, Sammy is thankful to those fans.
“We know about the love the Indians have for us,” said the 28 year old. “But it’s not just about Indians but fans all over the world, especially those who have always been with us. We played with a never-say-die spirit.”
The exceptional team spirit on the field was great, but off the field it was quite something. Particularly the amazing celebration which was led by the explosive yet calm Gayle.
“He is just an awesome guy. He has been doing that for the last decade or so,” said Sammy. “I mean he is a real entertainer, maan!”
Sammy may go down in history as an average captain, whose team has got thrashed in Tests and One-day cricket for a long time.
However, the team’s win in the Twenty20 World Cup, in whch they came as the favourites, may just cement his place in the history of West Indies cricket.
The writers is a journalist with CNN-IBN-7
Centurion, October 10
Mahmood made inroads into the Hampshire top-order as Auckland bundled out the English county team for a modest 121 in 20 overs. Mahmood then smashed an unbeaten 31-ball-55 to steer his side to a comfortable win with 33 balls to spare.
Kolkata Knight Riders started their first ever Champions League T20 campaign with a win against Scotland in a practice match at the Senwes Park in Johannesburg. Batting first, the 2012 IPL champions scored 176 for seven and then restricted Scotland to 152 for five.
Gautam Gambhir and Manwinder Bisla gave KKR a good start before Manoj Tiwary came in a the fall of Gambhir in the fifth over and scored a quick 50 off 31 balls before he retired. Bisla, carrying his form from the IPL, went for a 25-ball 40.
Yususf Pathan retired after playing just 18 balls, but he managed to score a quick 31.
In reply, Scotland were never in the game as KKR bowlers Iqbal Abdullah, Shakib Al Hasan and Rajat Bhatia struck early. After 14 overs, Scotland were 83 for four. But some brave strokeplay towards the end of their innings saw Scotland add 69 runs in the last six overs.
Where do BCCI’s priorities lie?
Meanwhile, the schedule of the Champions League has raised questions over the priorities of the Indian cricket board (BCCI). The BCCI is a stakeholder in the tournament, along with the South African and Australian cricket boards. Four Indian teams are in action at the Champions League — Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai. Most of the players of these four teams are missing the Duleep Trophy, the elite domestic competition. And the Ranji Trophy is beginning just four days after the end of the Champions League, which ends on October 28. Delhi, West Bengal and Mumbai start their Ranji Trophy matches on November 2. If Delhi, Kolkata or Mumbai IPL teams do well and reach the final of the Champions League, the players of these teams would go into the elite domestic competition exhausted and out of tune with the longer version of cricket.
Meanwhile, the schedule of the Champions League has raised questions over the priorities of the Indian cricket board (BCCI). The BCCI is a stakeholder in the tournament, along with the South African and Australian cricket boards.
Four Indian teams are in action at the Champions League — Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai. Most of the players of these four teams are missing the Duleep Trophy, the elite domestic competition.
And the Ranji Trophy is beginning just four days after the end of the Champions League, which ends on October 28. Delhi, West Bengal and Mumbai start their Ranji Trophy matches on November 2. If Delhi, Kolkata or Mumbai IPL teams do well and reach the final of the Champions League, the players of these teams would go into the elite domestic competition exhausted and out of tune with the longer version of cricket. — Agencies
Madrid, October 10
Villa, who has scored 51 goals in 82 games for Spain, broke his left leg while playing with Barcelona at the Club World Cup last December and missed eight months of action including the national team’s Euro 2012 triumph.
He scored in his first official game back for Barca when he came on as a substitute to net in a 5-1 La Liga hammering of Real Sociedad two weeks ago.
“I’m very happy to be back with the Spanish National Team!” Villa said on his Twitter account. “I’m excited to be back with my colleagues again and to be able to enjoy this unique side!”
Speaking from Monaco where he is to attend the European Super Cup between Atletico Madrid and Chelsea, Del Bosque told a news conference: “It is unusual that Villa is coming. He has hardly played but we thought it would give him a lift.
“All the information we have is that he is well. He is our leading goal scorer, and more than that, we felt it right he came whether he plays or not.”
Playmaker Xavi returns after having been rested from the friendly win in Puerto Rico earlier in the month, but there was no place for his Barca team mate Carles Puyol, who is recovering from a fractured cheekbone.
There were three other notable absentees, who had been in the Euro 2012 squad: Chelsea forward Juan Mata, Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente and his former club team mate and new Bayern Munich signing, Javi Martinez. “The two have gone through an uncomfortable period,” Del Bosque said of Llorente and Martinez who have not played at Bilbao with the transfer rumours swirling around them.
Of Mata, who also featured in the Olympics, he added: “He is a lad who Chelsea thought has had very little rest and we thought it right to listen to their petition.”
The world and European champions play a friendly against Saudi Arabia in Pontevedra, north-west Spain, on September 7 and four days later travel to Tbilisi, Georgia to play their opening group game on the road to Brazil.
Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas, Pepe Reina, Victor Valdes Defenders: Alvaro Arbeloa, Sergio Ramos, Raul Albiol, Gerard Pique, Ignacio Monreal, Juanfran, Jordi Alba Midfielders: Xabi Alonso, Sergio Busquets, Santi Cazorla, Fabregas, Andres Iniesta, Benat Etxebarria, Xavi Forwards: David Silva, Jesus Navas, Pedro, Fernando Torres, Roberto Soldado, David Villa — Reuters
Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas, Pepe Reina, Victor Valdes
Defenders: Alvaro Arbeloa, Sergio Ramos, Raul Albiol, Gerard Pique, Ignacio Monreal, Juanfran, Jordi Alba
Midfielders: Xabi Alonso, Sergio Busquets, Santi Cazorla, Fabregas, Andres Iniesta, Benat Etxebarria, Xavi
Forwards: David Silva, Jesus Navas, Pedro, Fernando Torres, Roberto Soldado, David Villa — Reuters
New Delhi, October 10
“There is nothing much this year. I will be participating in the World championship in the 81kg category,” Vijender, who lost in the quarterfinals of the London Games, said.
The strapping six-footer had a hugely successful stint in the 75kg division, bagging his and the country’s first Olympic and World Championships boxing medal (a bronze in both events) in the category. The 26-year-old, in fact, went on to become the world number one in 75kg after the World Championships medal in 2009.
Meanwhile, the Haryana-lad would give the Nationals a miss for the fifth year running. But he would be there on the sidelines of the tournament, scheduled in Hyderabad from October 30 to November 4, to catch the action live.
“No, I am not participating in the Nationals though I will certainly be going to watch bouts. I will be going there for the opening ceremony,” Vijender said.
Vijender was in the city to shoot for a campaign by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) against confinement of animals by circuses.— PTI
New Delhi, October 10
Men’s second seed VM Ranjeet was the biggest casualty as a twisted ankle forced him to concede his match against wild card Arjun Khade at 6-3, 4-6, 1-0. Though he lost the first set, Ranjeet fought back to take the second, but twisted his ankle after losing the first game of the deciding set, to throw in the towel.
Fourth-seeded P.C.Vignesh was also forced out of his second round match against wild card Saurabh Singh of Delhi due to an injury. He retired after Saurabh had won the first set 6-4 and led 1-0 in the second with a well-tuned game, which kept his ranked rival virtually on his toes.Vignesh sensed that he could not continue against the fighting Saurabh and quit.
Top-seeded Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan was lucky to escape with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 victory as the talented Ajay Selvaraj pushed him hard, despite playing with an injured shoulder. — TNS
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